If something is extremely dirty, filthy, or just plain disgusting, it falls into the territory of the noun squalor. We’re not just talking about a messy room. We’re talking about a grimy dungeon filled with rats and roaches.

Squalor comes from the Latin squalere, which means “to be filthy.” This word often refers to living conditions as in, “after the disaster, the people were living in squalor.” It can also describe a city or a building that is in general disrepair such as “ever since the budget cuts, people have moved away and the city has fallen into squalor.”

Definitions of squalor
  1. noun

    sordid dirtiness

    sordidness, squalidness
    see moresee less

    type of:

    dirtiness, uncleanness

    the state of being unsanitary

Word Family